Couple sues county claiming street isn't up to code

Eldersburg pair has tried for years to rezone land

March 22, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

An Eldersburg couple that has tried unsuccessfully for years to get their 4.5-acre property rezoned for business use has filed suit against Carroll County to stop construction on their street until the county brings it up to code.

Irvin and Peggy Gordon filed their lawsuit Monday in Carroll County Circuit Court. They seek an order to require the county to make a paved portion of the road on which they live - Strawbridge Terrace - 30 feet wide to meet county codes. Also, they seek construction of 4-foot-wide sidewalks along both sides of the street, where public sewer lines and storm drains are under construction in the right of way, according to the complaint.

County Attorney Kim Millender said yesterday that she had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment.

In the more than 30 years since the Gordons purchased the property, they have failed several times to have the residential zoning altered. Business zoning would give the pair - both in their 70s - about 100 development options, many of which were opposed by neighbors whose homes nearly surround the Gordons' land.

Facing Liberty High School, their property includes a 77-year-old, four-story stone building that used to be an orphanage. The Gordons divided the building into eight apartments - one of which they live in - that adjoin a long-established subdivision whose residents vociferously objected to the Gordons' tentative plans for a restaurant, swim club, catering business, garden shop and croquet fields in their midst.

The lawsuit notes violations in the plans for the Stone Manor II development, as approved and detailed in the public works department's records, and asks the court to derail construction until the subdivision's plans are revised to require compliance with county standards for roads.

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